Sticking a Chromecast dongle is one of the cheapest ways to teach a dumb TV how to stream your favorite content. The downside is that Google's little media stick is heavily tied into the company's ecosystem. If your Android device lacks Google Play Services, you're not casting.
Here in the States, only a minority of Android devices have this issue. The majority of them are Amazon Fire tablets, with a few belonging to folks who either try to avoid or can't install Google Play Services for one reason or another. Then there are all those Chinese phones and tablets that get apps from alternative app stores. Read More
The Play Books update from a couple of days ago turned up the first sign of life for the Family Library we've seen since mid-November. At the time, I made a quick prediction that matching strings would pop up fairly soon in Google's other content apps, and Play Movies & TV is the first to follow through. But this wasn't just a mirror image of the same strings, there's actually a bit of new information regarding movies sold as a bundle and seasons of television shows.
In case anybody is curious, this update doesn't have anything in the way of notable new features. Read More
Microsoft has a big Bing theory about how people should use their Android devices. The theory is simple — Microsoft believes you should use your phone to use Bing. And to entice you, the company has revamped the app. When you tap that Bing icon, what you see will look something like this. Read More
It has been a little while since we've seen an update to Messenger, so something potentially big was expected from this release. Version 1.7 doesn't seem to bring any visible changes, but like a sugary cereal box, there is a cool toy hidden inside. Messenger will have its own Android Wear app, just like Keep, Play Music, and a few others. But in a quirky twist, this mini app can't be installed quite yet, not until your Wear watch receives an update to Marshmallow. Read More
It's Update Wednesday and Google has been rolling out the updates pretty steadily all morning. Most of them aren't packing much beyond bug fixes, but Photos did get an update to v1.13 with at least one cool little feature. The search results screen now provides a quick way to see photos taken on the same day alongside the regular results, even if they aren't related otherwise. We've got a couple variants of the latest apk linked at the bottom, and more are sure to come shortly. Read More
Now that app updates are back to business as usual (more or less), Play Books is showing some activity again with a couple of small-ish changes that add a bit of polish. There are now shortcuts with links to different sections of the Play Store and an updated welcome card for the so-called Night Light feature. But the more interesting change is actually buried where it can't be seen in the live interface: some real signs that the Family Library is moving forward in Play Books. If you're looking for the APK, we have the link at the bottom. Read More
Microsoft Health is the companion app to Microsoft's activity tracker, which is now on its second iteration, the Microsoft Band 2. An update is rolling out via Google Play that adds quite a few new features for folks who own the device. Read More